LATEST BLOGS

Comment, opinions and reports from The Strad team and leading figures in the string world

Blogs Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Astrig Siranossian, 25, on obtaining her Francesco Ruggieri cello

The French cellist features as a 'Fresh Face' in The Strad's April 2014 issue

A few years ago in Basel, when I'd just finished giving a recital, a couple came backstage to meet me. They told me they wanted to help me buy a new instrument and bow. At that time I already had a ...

Blogs Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Stringed instruments: investment, inflation and accessibility

Stephen Bryant, concertmaster of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, considers the difficulties facing string players when it comes to finding an affordable instrument

It’s not just house prices in London that are soaring out of control – it’s also the cost of stringed instruments. Last year, the 'Vieuxtemps' Guarneri 'del Gesù' violin of ...

Blogs Thursday, 13 March 2014

Travelling with cellos on trains and planes is never easy

Cello octet Cellophony have encountered various difficulties when touring, but charm and optimism go a long way, writes ensemble member Richard Birchall

Cellists regard their cellos rather like they might their own children. It is inevitable when you spend so much time in each other's company that a deep bond of affection will develop, and instruments...

Blogs Wednesday, 12 March 2014

A Brief Survey of Summer Festivals Without All the Bother of Joining a String Quartet – Part Seven

American String Quartet violist Daniel Avshalomov visits Cremona, home of Stradivari, to meet current Cremonese luthiers, Eva and Hristo Marino

A piazza Stradivari - no surprise, and richly deserved. A Stradivari cheese shop - well, why not? Doubtless the man enjoyed a bit of formaggio now and then. But a Stradivari travel...

Blogs Tuesday, 04 March 2014

Cellist Jan Vogler on life before the fall of the Berlin Wall

The former principal cellist of Staatskapelle Dresden is interviewed for The Strad's March 2014 German issue

I was 25 when the Wall fell 25 years ago. For the first half of my life I built up my musical resources to be ready for the second part, to travel and perform in the free world. If I had continued to...

Blogs Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Violinist Gil Shaham on the irresistible lure of 1930s violin concertos

The Turbulent Thirties gave rise to an unprecedented explosion of concertos for the violin from some of the 20th century’s greatest composers. American violinist Gil Shaham shares his thoughts on a choice selection from this most pivotal of decades

It is a striking coincidence that there was such a confluence of violin concertos by great composers between 1931 and 1939. In that single decade we have works by Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Bartó...

Blogs Wednesday, 19 February 2014

6 pieces of advice for performers by violinist Vadim Repin

There are as many ways to advise violinists about performance careers as there are violinists, says Vadim Repin. Nevertheless, he tells Pauline Harding six of his secrets to success

Keep charge of your own lifeDon't make compromises about the path you want to follow – stick to it, and hopefully you will become successful with it. There will be good times ...

Blogs Friday, 14 February 2014

The art of distraction is more effective than repetitive practice

Repeating a difficult passage over and over again can lead to stress and tension. Instead distract your mind at the point of execution to feel relaxed as you play, writes cellist Thomas Demenga (pictured)

When people ask me how much I practise I usually say, 'I don't practise, I check whether I can still do it...'

This is, of course, a joke, but it also contains a truth. Before one starts to practise...

Blogs Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Aaron Rosand on portamento

The American violinist examines how the great 20th-century violinists used the ‘gliding technique’ to bring personality and individuality to their interpretations

Portamento: the carrying of a sound with the voice or stringed instrument, the transition from one note to another, higher or lower, without any break in the sound.

This expressive...

Blogs Tuesday, 11 February 2014

10 habits of successful musicians

American cellist David Finckel embarks on a series of seminars – entitled Being a Musician – at Stony Brook University, New York on 3 February. Here, he identifies the important habits of those musicians who have built and maintained successful careers

All musicians, especially those soon to emerge from formal education, wonder what path their careers will take and whether they can control their artistic destinies. While there are no proven methods...

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